Current Contests/Announcements

The story of the Orange Cake Click here to find out more.


Check out the NKOTB Book Tag Meme Here!

Having trouble leaving a comment? If you have trouble commenting then please click on the refresh button, this usually fixes the issue. I also use comment moderation for new commenters to the blog.

Search Results for: October 2014

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Top 12 List: October 2014 / Month in Review

Posted by Irish in Contest, Month in Review, Top 12 List7 Comments

TopTwelve

Hello Internet!

By now you know the drill with this post. I list out the top books that I read and loved this past month and from them I choose the best of the best. This book then gets listed in my Top 12 List (check out my sidebar) and at the end of the year those 12 books are pitted against each other and my top book for the year is chosen.

 

The Contenders – 5 Star Reads

NA

 

I had no 5 stars reads in October but I did read a lot of good books the top two of which were All Broke Down by Cora Carmack and The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas. Both books I wasn’t sure when I started them if I would like them and then I ended up really enjoying them. This makes it hard for me to choose between them but choose I must. So for my favorite book in October 2014 I choose…..

Burning Sky

The Burning Sky is filled with some rich imagery and a well plotted fantasy novel that takes place in a fictional world and in 1883 England. This is a book that I immediately had to jump into the sequel, The Perilous Sea, the moment I finished it and I am now dying to get my hands on the third book. If you like a good fantasy then you need to give this one a shot.

What about you? What was your favorite book read this month? Let me know in the comments below. =)

 

Month in review – Here’s the other books I read this month:

(most books read during this month will be reviewed next month)

 

4 Star Reads

All Broke Down (Rusk University, Book 2) by Cora Carmack
Bruiser by Neal Shusterman
The Burning Sky (Elemental Trilogy, Book 1) by Sherry Thomas
Horrorstor by Grady Hendrix
The Perilous Sea (ELemental Trilogy, Book 2) by Sherry Thomas


3 Star Reads

Rowdy (Marked Men, Book 5) by Jay Crownover (3.5 Stars)
The 9 Lives of Alexander Baddingfield by John Bemelmans Marciano
Just One Night (Sex, Love & Stiletto, Book 3) by Laruen Layne
The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things by Ann Aguirre
Through to You by Lauren Barnholdt
Unstrung (Unwind, Book 1.5) by Neal Shusterman
The Year We Fell Down (The Ivy Years, Book 1) by Sarina Bowen
The Year We Hid Away (The Ivy Years, Book 2) by Sarina Bowen

 

2 Star Reads

NA


1 Star Reads

NA


DNF Reads – maybe I’ll try these again at some point, but for now they don’t resonate with me

The Queen of Tearling by Erika Johansen

 

Book reviews:

Miscellaneous Posts:

 

Places “Traveled” to this month:

See my “travel” index for a complete list of all the places I’ve been through books. (This is list currently out of date, my apologies for that! So check out my Month in Review posts in the interim)

Domain: Little Grind-on-woe via The Burning Sky and The Perilous Sea (1883)
Domain: Delamer via The Burning Sky and The Perilous Sea
England: London via The Burning Sky and The Perilous Sea (1883)
England: Kent via The Burning Sky and The Perilous Sea (1883)
England: Slough via The Burning Sky and The Perilous Sea (1883)
England: Windsor via The Burning Sky and The Perilous Sea (1883)
United States: Colorado: Denver via Rowdy
United States: Connecticut: Etna via Blonde Date, The Year We Fell Down and The Understatement of the Year
United States: Illinois: Farmburg via The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things
United States: Massachusetts: Boston via Through to You
United States: Massachusetts: Southboro via Through to You
United States: New Hampshire: Sterling via The Year We Fell Down
United States: New York: Brooklyn via Just One Night and Love the One You’re With
United States: New York: New York via The 9 Lives of Alexander Baddenfield
United States: New York: New York via Just One Night and Love the One You’re With
United States: Ohio: Cleveland via Horrorstor
United States: Texas: Unnamed via All Broke Down
United States: Unnamed via Bruiser
United States: Unnamed via Unstrung

 

Personal Highlights of October 2014:

Going to see Bastille in concert…such a fun show

Grizfolk #boston #concert #music

Participating in Dewey’s 24 Hour Read-a-thon…looking forward to April’s event

I am forever and always #tramtrollope. Tea is grand and all but coffee is my dearest love. #readathon #challenge #coffee #mydunks #horrorstor #gradyhendrix #quirkbooks #amreading #amdrinking

Bringing back lunch time movies at work…we started with The Princess Bride and plan on watching something new every Tuesday/Wednesday until it warms up and we can eat outside again.

Today at lunch...this happened #movie #princessbride #lunch

But by far…the best part of my October was going to Paris! You can see all of my pictures by checking out my Instagram and looking up the hashtag #gailandthefrench trip and below find a picture  (or two) from each day of my trip.

Day 1 – Sacre Cour  and Le Père Lachaise. Cemetary – Sacre Cour is this beautiful cathedral and the views of Paris are amazing. Pere Lachaise is a place that you can easily get lost in. The graves are just so close together and so different from one another that there is this elegant beauty in this place filled with death. European cemeteries make the ones in the US look so sterile in comparison.

Sacre Cour #gailandthefrenchtrip #sacrecour #paris #france AnnaARC visits Victor Noir @naturallysteph #annaandthefrenchtrip #paris #lepèrelachaise #cemetery #france #iseedeadpeople #gailandthefrenchtrip

I brought my ARC of Anna and the French Kiss with me and we did a tour of the places mentioned in the book…and some places that weren’t specifically mentioned but that Anna probably would have gone to during her year in Paris. AnnaARC’s adventures have the instagram hashtag of #Annaandthefrenchtrip. This is AnnaARC with the Victor Noir grave at Le Père Lachaise cemetery.

Day 2 – The Louvre and Musee d’Orsay

Kings and Queens once walked these grounds #gailandthefrenchtrip #paris #france #stairs #louvre

A non-traditional shot of the Louvre…this former palace is so big and filled with so much amazing art. Its impossible to see everything and so we just looked at the highlight reel and spent a lot of time in the Egyptian wing.

David! Look at the clock!! #gailandthefrenchtrip #paris #france #museeorsay

The sculptures at the Musee d’Orsay are stunning and I just loved the use of space in this former train station. Not to mention these clocks!

Day 3

Intermission waiting area #gailandthefrenchtrip #paris #france #operahouse #phantomoftheopera

Palais Garnier – The Paris Opera house….words can’t describe the opulence of this building. We had a wonderful tour guide and I just loved wandering around this building.

Light fixtures and stained glass...two other loves of mine #gailandthefrenchtrip #paris #france #notredamn

Notre Dame is just as pretty inside as you would imagine…and no picture can do those stained glass windows justice!

Found Point Zero!! Just walked by it several times & around building first #headdesk #paris #france #gailandthefrenchtrip

Point Zero Paris! I love finding markers like this whenever I travel. This one was a pain to find even if it was right out in the open. We walked all around Notre Dame before circling back to the front and then wandering around until we just stumbled on it. You’d think there would have been more markers…or perhaps we were just over tired…but all that matters is that we did find it and we made a wish.

Le Tour Eiffel all lit up #eiffeltower #gailandthefrenchtrip

The Eiffel Tower at night….this is so much larger than I ever imagined it to be and is a marvel to behold.

Day 3

Arc de Triomphe #gailandthefrenchtrip #arcdetriomphe

The Arc de Triumph – and just a mere 265 + another 70 sprial stairs to get to the top a tiring journey but one that is worthwhile for the views. Just wish the day had been a little clearer.

Tour Eiffel from the Arc de Triomphe #gailandthefrenchtrip #eiffeltower #arcdetriomphe

In France…I also found my name (or at least a version of it) on a coke bottle!

As close as I'm prob gonna see of my name on a coke bottle #gailandthefrenchtrip

Day 4

Hall of Mirrors - this was a little underwhelming #versailles #gailandthefrenchtrip

The first part of the day was spent at Versailles….the above photo is in the Hall of Mirrors. I liked Versailles but Hampton Court in England still holds the number one slot in my heart for favorite palaces. Though Versailles beats all of the palaces I’ve seen with the sheer size of its gardens. Would have loved to been able to fully explore them but it was a little chilly and my feet would have hated me if I’d tried.

Fountain zoomed in #versailles #gailandthefrenchtrip

A fountain at Versailles

Day 5

Glad to know I'm really here...because I wasn't sure #gailandthefrenchtrip #locks #locksoflove

While walking along the Pont Neuf Bridge I found a lock with my name on it.

This clock so pretty & gorgeous on the street - near the Conciergerie @tapestry100 #gailandthefrenchtrip #clock #Conciergerie

This beautiful clock was on the outside of the Conciergerie – built in the 1200s by Saint Louis and where Marie Antoinette spent some time before her beheading.

Words can't describe how amazing the upper level of Sainte-Chapelle is. It's a totally blurt "wow" out loud as you come up steps and see it #gailandthefrenchtrip #saintechapelle #lookingup #nofilter

If you are ever in Paris, make time to go see Sainte Chapelle. There are no words to describe just out amazing the stained glass windows are. I believe I gasped “wow” aloud when we walked up the stairs to the upper chapel and then we just stared in awe at all the brightly lit stained glass windows. Saint Louis new how to make beautiful buildings that lasted for centuries.

Tour Eiffel at night - love the sky in this one #nofilter #gailandthefrenchtrip #eiffeltower

I took many photos of the Eiffel Tower but this is one of my favorites.

Day 6

Main Street #gailandthefrenchtrip #DisneyParis

Our last day was spent at Disneyland Paris – which is similar to Disney here but its in Paris so it makes it better. It was a fun day even if employees at the park lied to me and I couldn’t see the stained glass windows in the Castle.

What were some of your October highlights?

 

2014 Reading Goal Progress
(click the link to see how I’m doing with my challenges)

Monthly Contest

***Be sure to read the terms and conditions before entering. ***

Enter to win a copy of my top pick of the month (or other book if in a series) and a $10 amazon gift card. This contest is open internationally (as long as The Book Depository ships your country) but If you live outside the US and you win then then the GC will be the equivalent to $10 US dollars. The sequel, The Perilous Journey, may be substituted in place of The Burning Sky.

The winner of last months contest is: Vivian

Congratulations, you should expect an email from me shortly if not then please feel free to email me as sometimes my mail acts a wee bit wonky.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
irishdarkblue

Divider

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Blog Tour: The Conspiracy of Us Travel Log

Posted by Irish in Blog Tour, Contest, Guest Post, Travel Log13 Comments

Blog Tour: The Conspiracy of Us Travel Log

Hello Internet!!

Today I am so happy to host Maggie Hall here on Ticket to Anywhere and learn a little bit about why she chose the setting she did for her debut novel, The Conspiracy of Us (13 January 2015, Putnam Juvenile). When I first learned that this book was set in Paris I became so excited for it. I took my first trip to this amazing city in October 2014 and have every intention of returning to it one day. I also spent a little time in the Istanbul airport and while airports aren’t my jam I would one day like to spend time in this fascinating sounding city. The Conpiracy of Us sounds also sounds fascinating and after reading Maggie’s post below I want to read it even more!

irishdarkblue

 

Conspiracy of Us

 

A fast-paced international escapade, laced with adrenaline, glamour, and romance–perfect for fans of Ally Carter

Avery West’s newfound family can shut down Prada when they want to shop in peace, and can just as easily order a bombing when they want to start a war. Part of a powerful and dangerous secret society called the Circle, they believe Avery is the key to an ancient prophecy. Some want to use her as a pawn. Some want her dead.

To unravel the mystery putting her life in danger, Avery must follow a trail of clues from the monuments of Paris to the back alleys of Istanbul with two boys who work for the Circle—beautiful, volatile Stellan and mysterious, magnetic Jack. But as the clues expose a stunning conspiracy that might plunge the world into World War 3, she discovers that both boys are hiding secrets of their own. Now she will have to choose not only between freedom and family–but between the boy who might help her save the world, and the one she’s falling in love with.

 

Conspiracy of Us Guest Post

I knew from the beginning that CONSPIRACY would be set abroad. It makes sense for the story, of course, since the twelve families of the Circle are scattered around the globe, but setting a story in a city unfamiliar to the main character automatically makes it more of an adventure, too. Avery, my heroine, had never been out of the country before the start of this book, so I wanted settings that would be really exciting and striking for a first-time traveler.

eiffel-tower-photo

Source: http://images.mapsofworld.com/travel/eiffel-tower-photo.jpg

Of course, I immediately thought of Paris. Paris is the cliche “best place to travel” for a reason. You can walk down any random street in that city, look up, and you’re looking at a building older than the United States as a country. You’ll follow your nose to a crepe stand, and realize your life hasn’t been complete until you eat a thin sheet of pastry wrapped around a scoop of Nutella and cooked by the side of the road. You’ll almost be run over by a Vespa driven by the most chic older lady you’ve ever seen, and you’ll laugh it off. You’ll eat bread and cheese for dinner, sitting with hundreds of well-dressed French people on the banks of the Seine river, and never want to eat anything but bread and cheese again. And then you’ll look up and see the Eiffel Tower in the distance, and wonder if you’re actually in a movie, because this place isn’t real, is it? That’s Paris. It’s magical.

Istanbul

Source: http://wallsev.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Istanbul-HD-Wallpaper.jpg

And then there’s Istanbul. It’s such an interesting city—it’s on the very edge of Europe, and in some ways, it’s very European. It’s as fashionable as the big European cities, and has a feel much like some of them in ways—but if you look even slightly under the surface, there’s a side to it that no European city has, because it’s also kind of in the Middle East, with the rich traditions, colors, food, and feeling of that culture that is so different to most Western travelers. There are kebab stands on every corner in some neighborhoods. There are ladies in all manner of lovely headscarves, and also ladies in miniskirts. There are breathtakingly beautiful mosques that sound the call to prayer all through the day, and also lovely churches. Istanbul is really a study in contrast, and it makes it such a lively and intriguing city.

To me, travel means seeing the world differently. Seeing how people in other countries and other cultures go about their lives, and realizing that the world is not as small as it sometimes seems to you. Of course, when I travel, I am not usually running for my life like Avery is! But even for someone in a situation like hers, having her story go on in a place that’s as foreign to her as the revelations she’s learning along the way adds an intensity—and a beauty, I think—to her journey.

Check out the other stops on the tour

Effortlessly Reading – 1/13

Two Chicks on Books – 1/14

Ticket to Anywhere – 1/15

Mostly YA Obsessed – 1/16

Reading is My Treasure – 1/17

A Dream Within a Dream – 1/18

The Midnight Garden – 1/19

Seeing Double In Neverland – 1/20

Jessabella Reads – 1/22

The Book Cellar – 1/25

The Books Buzz – 1/29

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Divider

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Movie Thoughts: The Judge

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Movie Thoughts, Rated R, Review1 Comment

The Judge

Official Movie Poster

Title: The Judge (Official Site)
Tag Line: Defend your Honor.
Release Date: 10 October 2014
Rating: R
Runtime: 141 min
Genres: Drama
Series or Standalone: Standalone
Where Seen: Movie Screening
Production Company: Warner Bros.
Distributed By: Warner Bros.
Director(s): David Dobkin
Writer(s): Nick Schenk (screenplay & story), Bill Dubuque (screenplay), David Dobkin (story)
Stars: Robert Downey Jr. (Hank Palmer), Robert Duvall (Joseph Palmer), Vera Farmiga (Samantha Powell), Billy Bob Thornton (Dwight Dickham), Vincent D’Onofrio (Glen Palmer), Jeremy Strong (Dale Palmer), Dax Shepard (C.P. Lennedy), Ken Howard (Judge Warren), Emma Tremblay (Lauren Palmer)

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

 

The Judge1The Judge is one of those movies that I knew I had to see the moment I learned who was in it. I have been a big fan of Robert Downey, Jr’s for years and I was excited to see him in something that would stretch his acting chops a bit. His performance in The Judge is nothing short of stellar and I loved his interactions with Robert Duvall who plays his father. The story focuses on Hank Palmer (Robert Downey Jr.) who returns home after many years away to attend his mother’s funeral. There is some bad blood between Hank and his father (Robert Duvall) and the tension between the two is palpable. Your heart aches as these two appear together as you can see that under all the anger an ill words that there is a lot of hurt and pain. Before Hank can leave town his father, a respected judge, is accused of murder and he feels like he has to stay in order to defend him.

The Judge is a slow moving, character driven film and if you are looking for bells and whistles you will want to check out the action movie in The Judge 2the theatre next door. This is a movie that finds its strength in quiet moments and dialogue scenes as all the characters try to find their way back to each other. The Judge is a serious film but there are also moments of laughter and scenes that will make your heart ache at the touching moment that is happening on screen. I do think that Vincent D’Onofrio and Jeremy Strong were under-utilized as Hank’s brothers Glen and Dale and wish that they had more time with RDJ and Duvall. 

Billy Bob Thornton does an excellent job as the prosecutor and really enjoyed all the courtroom scenes in this film. I also loved the moments that Thornton and RDJ shared on screen as they both tried to fight the best case they could. The Judge was a powerful film andThe Judge 3 its one that I hope will earn some of its cast members an award nomination or two. Its a movie that just sucks you in and makes you a part of the small Indiana town where its set. You feel like you are a part of the Palmer family and you are sitting right there in the courtroom hoping that RDJ can work his magic as he tries the hardest case of his life. 

All the characters in The Judge go through tremendous growth throughout the course of the movie and who they are at the start is not who they are at the end. TheThe Judge 4 Judge is a movie that will touch your heart stings and one that I am glad that I saw. Its filled with so many nuances and a great soundtrack and one that I don’t think you will regret seeing.

My recommendation: Worth seeing in the theatre but will also be a great DVD rental.

irishdarkblue

 

 

The Judge Banner2
four-stars
Divider

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Really Want To Read But Don’t Own Yet

Posted by Irish in Top Ten Tuesday11 Comments

Graphic made by David at From My Bookshelf

Graphic made by David at From My Bookshelf

 

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish this weeks topic is about those books that I really want to read but that I don’t own yet. This one was initially hard for me to chose books for because if there’s a book that’s published that I really want then I buy it. Also, as a long time blogger I also get a decent amount of ARCs so its hard to think of what I could choose for this weeks list. Then I started to think about the books that I want to read that haven’t been published yet, or aren’t yet available here in the US. Some of them I could probably get in ARC form if I asked but there are certain books that I know I’ll like so I don’t mind waiting for them to be in stores. Though if you happen to have one of these books and want to send it to me I won’t turn you down. 😉

 

 

1. Sweet and Wild by Viv Daniels (Unknown release) – Dying for Hannah’s story! Dying I say!

 

 

2. Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey (Sept 2014, Putnam Juvenile) – Loved The Fifth Wave and I need to know what happens next!

 

unknown cover

 

3. All the Rage by Courtney Summers (April 2015, St Martin’s Griffin) – its Courtney Summers! No more needs to be said!

 

 

4. Eren by Simon Clark (US Release: June 2015, St Martin’s Griffin) – Sounds dark and mysterious and I may have to import it from the UK as I am not sure I want to wait for the US release.

 

 

5. Deep by Kylie Scott (January 2015, St Martin’s Griffin) – I know that Ben will not be Jimmy but I was pleasantly surprised by Jimmy’s book as I didn’t think I’d like it and I loved it…so I am hoping for a similar reaction with Ben’s story. Plus…more Jimmy and Lena!

 

 

6. Seventh Grave and No Body by Darynda Jones (October 2014, St Martin’s Press) – Love this series so much and can’t wait to see what happens next!!

 

 

7. Rowdy by Jay Crownover (October 2014, William Morrow) – I may or may not be stalking Edelweiss to see if this one becomes available.

 

unknown cover

 

8. The Fill-in Boyfriend by Kasie West (May 2015, Harper Teen) – So bouncy with impatience for this one!! Love me some Kasie West something fierce!

 

 

9. I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios (February 2015, Henry Holt) I recently read Something Real and I *LOVED* it!! While I may not be sure of her fantasy book I am really looking forward to her next contemporary!

 

unknown cover

 

10. Apparent Wind by Trish Dollar (Unknown release) – Keane!! I have been waiting for this book for a very very long time…now I just need Trish to write faster and for a publisher to buy it so it can get into my grubby little hands!

 

irishdarkblue
Divider

Monday, June 30, 2014

Review: Sixth Grave on the Edge by Darynda Jones

Posted by Irish in 3.5 Stars, Adult, Review2 Comments

Review: Sixth Grave on the Edge by Darynda JonesSixth Grave on the Edge by Darynda Jones
Series: Charlie Davidson,
Also in this series: Fifth Grave Past the Light, Seventh Grave and No Body
Published by St Martin's Press on 20 May 2014
Genres: Abduction, Action & Adventure, Adult, Angels, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Death & Dying, Demons, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Ghosts & the Undead, Love & Romance, Mystery & Detective, Paranormal
Pages: 326
Format: ARC
Source: Gift
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
three-half-stars
Also by this author: Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet, Fifth Grave Past the Light, Seventh Grave and No Body

Place(s) Traveled To: Albuquerque, New Mexico // Other locations in New Mexico

First Line(s): “A girl, a mocha latte, and a naked dead man walk into a bar,” I said, turning to the naked dead man sitting in my passenger seat.

 

Sixth Grave on the Edge by Darynda Jones was among my most anticipated titles of 2014 as I just love the humor of this series. So I was really excited when I received an ARC of it as part of Andi’s Spring Book ExchangeSixth Grave on the Edge is filled with all the humor and shenanigans that I’ve come to expect from a Charlie Davidson book and despite many of the same tricks and ploys used in previous books Darynda Jones manages to keep the story fresh. I think this is due in part ot how these books aren’t a mystery of the week sort of story anymore and while there is always a mystery story ARC in the book there is this larger backstory/mystery going on that spans multiple books.

The big mystery is intriguing and I look forward to gaining new clues to the big mystery of just what Charlie’s full purpose is here on Earth. I love seeing more of Cookie, Uncle Bob, Reyes, and all the rest as they all continualy grow and become a bit more real as the series progesses. However, in this book I have to admit to being a little disappointed in it. It just didn’t seem as if much of anything happened in the bigger storyline and the main mystery of the book was just so-so. Overall, Sixth Grave felt more like book 2 in a trilogy in the sense that there was a lot of build up but not a lot of action. There were lots of hints about things to come but not major revels. At least, not until the end. Even the question proposed at the end of Fifth Grave Past the Light wasn’t fully answered until towards the end of this book.

As with all the other books Sixth Grave was entertaining but I just wanted a little more depth to it. A bit more of the big mystery revelead. Or even more development among the various characters as they all just sort of stood still in this one. With the exception of Mr Wong who had some cryptic remarks made about him and now I’m more curious than ever about Charlie’s roommate than I was before. Though despite not being as fully satisfied in this installment as I normally am in a Charlie Davidson book I still managed to read it pretty fast. This series is alwys good fun and even with the added minor cliff-hangers that are appearing at the end of each book I do find myself excited for the next one. And you can be sure that I’m uber excited that Seventh Grave and No Body will be released in October 2014 and a year from now in 2015. I just hope that there is a bit more substance to that one than was in this one.

 .

irishdarkblue

 

.

.

.

Sixth Grave Quote

three-half-stars
Divider

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Review + Interview: Bittersweet by Sarina Bowen

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Adult, Contest, Interview, Review1 Comment

Review + Interview: Bittersweet by Sarina BowenBittersweet by Sarina Bowen
Series: True North,
Also in this series: Steadfast
Published by Self-Published on 14 June 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, Love & Romance, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues
Pages: 293
Format: eARC
Source: Publicist
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars
Also by this author: The Year We Fell Down, The Year We Hid Away, The Understatement of the Year, Blonde Date, The Shameless Hour, Him, The Fifteenth Minute, Coming in from the Cold, Us, Steadfast, Rookie Move (Brooklyn Bruisers, #1)

Place(s) Traveled To: Tuxbury, Vermont // Boston, Massachusetts // Norwich, Vermont // Fairlee, Vermont

First Line(s): “Giffin?”

Regular readers to my blog will know that I am a big fan of Sarina Bowen’s work. I love her real and complex characters and the love stories that she tells. So I was very excited to be able to read BITTERSWEET which is the start of a new series and is set in Vermont. BITTERSWEET alternates POVs between Audrey, a flightly free spirit who is trying to find her place in the world, and Griff a gruff farmer who loves what he does and who doesn’t believe in happily ever afters. So its a good thing that he and Audrey collide because despite all that she’s been through she still finds rainbows on rainy days. Griff and Audrey’s relationship is a mix between opposites attract and a second chance at love because when Griff pulls Audrey’s car out of a ditch we learn its not the first time that they’ve met. Nor is it the first time that sparks have flown between them.

And boy do the sparks fly.

The chemistry between Griff and Audrey leaps off the page and I loved the tension and how well these two worked together. Their journey isn’t without its bumps in the road and both are wary about putting it all out on the line but I loved the entire thing. And best of all….there is no pointless break up!! Yes, there is drama and separation…this is a romance story after all. But the parting is a bittersweet one (see what I did there) as Audrey and Griff aren’t quite ready to admit that they are each others forever dream. Especially Audrey, who has worked so hard to find her place in a world that seems to always want to put her down. She comes from a privileged life but she isn’t quiet the personality that her mother was expecting. So, Audrey finds it especially hard to come to the conclusion that dreams can change and that the path you thought was solid may not be the right one for you.

.

Bittersweet Quote

.

Another thing that I loved about BITTERSWEET was the secondary cast. I almost loved them more than Griff and Audrey! Griff’s family is hilarious and fun and I loved what they brought to the page every time they made an appearance. Then there is Zara who is a little caustic but also who becomes a good friend to Audrey, which is something that they both really need. But one of my favorites was Zach. Oh sweet, adorable blushing Zach. He’s quiet and shy but he sees so much and what little we learn of his backstory in BITTERSWEET leaves me aching to know more. I desperately want him to find a happily ever after.

BITTERSWEET is a beautiful story with a good message and one that will make even the coldest readers heart ache. Its real and emotional and I was so glad that I brought this on a plane with me because it gave me hours of uninterrupted reading time. I was able to get lost in this world and I hated it when I hit the last page. I was even tempted to read the chapter sampler of STEADFAST and if you know me at all you know that I don’t read samplers!!  Thankfully though I won’t have long to wait as STEADFAST is expected to be released in July followed by KEEPSAKE in October. This is both good and bad. Good because I don’t have to wait three years to finish the series but bad because it means it won’t be long until I can’t experience this world for the first time again. *sighs* The reading life…its so hard.

But what isn’t hard is to fall in love with BITTERSWEET so go forth and buy your copy today!! If you like a good love story then this is one you won’t want to miss!! (Seriously….that orchard scene!! #swoon)

.

irishdarkblue

Read chapter one of BITTERSWEEET here!!

.

IR - Bittersweet

 

Add Accidentally Married on Purpose by Rachel Harris to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add Tied to Trouble by Megan Erickson to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

 

Q&A

 

1. Describe yourself in one sentence.

I am a total goofball.

2. Can you describe your newest book, BITTERSWEET, in five words or less?

Hot grumpy farmer vs. chef.

3. What inspired you to write the TRUE NORTH series?

I always knew I’d write another book about Vermont, because it’s just such a cool place in the world. It’s rugged and sexy in a way that’s different from my hockey books.

4. Which character in the TRUE NORTH books was your favorite to write and why?

Audrey, because she never gives up, even when people try to convince her she’ll fail.

5. Which line do you find harder to write, the first or the last?

The last one. I hate last lines. Real life doesn’t have last lines, ergo they are tricky in fiction.

6. What’s the craziest/strangest thing you’ve googled (to date) in the name of research?

Oh boy. I’ve Googled some things that made me warn the family, “when the FBI comes to investigate, tell them it was for the novel.” How to buy a gun on the internet, etc.

7. What is your favorite Hard Cider to drink….and have you ever had one that tasted like the one that Griff and Audrey make together?

The ciders by Farnum Hill at Poverty Lane Orchard are awfully funky. 🙂 I like Champlain Orchards Cidery, too.

8. Without spoiling, what was your favorite scene to write in BITTERSWEET?

The cider tasting scene! I cracked myself right up there.

9. One thing I loved about BITTERSWEET was its celebration of local, farm fresh items and small businesses. What are some of your favorite products that you can only get when you are in Vermont?

There ARE a million awesome Vermont foods. Vermont Peanut Butter company makes a flavor called Good Karma that has dark chocolate in it. I love it desperately.

10. Any teases or hints you want to give about STEADFAST or KEEPSAKE? (AKA what I really want to know is will Zach get a story? Because I adored him!)

I will tell you that Zach is book #3 and that you haven’t met his heroine yet. But that’s all I’ll say!

Interesting

.

Contest

 Enter to win an kindle, kobo, or nook copy of Bittersweet by Sarina Bowen.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
.
rippling

four-stars
Divider

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Hour 8 Mini-Challenge: Book Spine Poetry #readathon

Posted by Irish in Contest, Read-a-Long100 Comments

Dewey Readathon

 

 

Hello and welcome to hour EIGHT of Dewey’s Read-a-thon!  I hope that you are still going strong and reading though lots of good books and that your eyes aren’t getting tired. Though maybe that is why you are here visiting me as I am your mini-challenge host for this hour and we are doing one of my favorite challenges of read-a-thon past…BOOK SPINE POETRY! 

The challenge rules:

  • Using the titles on book spines, make a short poem at least three “books” long/tall.
  • Don’t worry about form or meter or rhyming or anything like that.  Just have fun!
  • Take a picture of your book spine poem, post it on your blog/Twitter/Tumblr/Instagram/etc., then paste the permalink to that post in the comments to this post.
  • This challenge will run for THREE hours and I will choose a winner randomly from the entries…unless one of them really speaks to me in some fashion. No matter what it will be totally arbitrary but hopefully fun times for all! (If I crash before the contest ends then I will choose a winner the moment I wake up again)
  • The winner will get to choose one item from the epic readathon prize list 

Here is an example of the book spine poetry entry that I did last read-a-thon and it took me less than 10 minutes to do using books in my read-a-thon pile and a nearby bookshelf.

 

Book Spine Poetry

 

Once we were

the broken hearted.

Splinterd fragments. Unraveling

in the after.

Dreamless shadows

in the silence.

Infinite.

So go forth and make some poetry! I can’t wait to see what you come up with!!

irishdarkblue

EDIT

The winner of the book spine poetry is Shannon from Leaning Lights! Congratulations!!

Divider

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Hour 15 Mini-Challenge: Book Spine Poetry #readathon

Posted by Irish in Contest, Read-a-Thon46 Comments

Dewey Readathon

 

 

Hello and welcome to hour FIFTEEN of Dewey’s Read-a-thon!  Congrats on making it this far in the event! You have made it past the half-way point and maybe your eyes are feeling a little droopy and you are in need of a break. Which is why you are here visiting me as I am your mini-challenge host for this hour and we are doing one of my favorite challenges of read-a-thon past…BOOK SPINE POETRY! 

The challenge rules:

  • Using the titles on book spines, make a short poem at least three “books” long/tall.
  • Don’t worry about form or meter or rhyming or anything like that.  Just have fun!
  • Take a picture of your book spine poem, post it on your blog/Twitter/Tumblr/Instagram/etc., then paste the permalink to that post in the comments to this post.
  • This challenge will run for THREE hours and I will choose a winner randomly from the entries…unless one of them really speaks to me in some fashion. No matter what it will be totally arbitrary but hopefully fun times for all! (If I crash before the contest ends then I will choose a winner the moment I wake up again)
  • The winner will get to choose one item from the epic readathon prize list 

Here is an example of the book spine poetry entry that I did last read-a-thon and it took me less than 10 minutes to do using books in my read-a-thon pile and a nearby bookshelf.

 

Book Spine Poetry

 

Once we were

the broken hearted.

Splinterd fragments. Unraveling

in the after.

Dreamless shadows

in the silence.

Infinite.

So go forth and make some poetry! I can’t wait to see what you come up with!!

irishdarkblue

Divider

Friday, August 1, 2014

Spotlight: “One Small Step…” can Create One Giant LEAP!

Posted by Irish in Misc, Spotlight0 Comments

Announcement banner

“One Small Step…” can Create One Giant LEAP!

That’s what popular young adult authors Shannon Delany, Judith Graves, and Jen Murgia hope! The bold trio recently took on management (and in Delany’s case ownership) of established small publisher Leap Books LLC.

The three women come from diverse backgrounds in publishing but have pooled their skills and resources to breathe new life into Leap.

Established in 2009 by Laurie Edwards, Leap has earned a respected place in the young adult and middle grade markets, gaining recognition from the Green Earth Books Award program, the Young Adult Library Services Association Popular Paperbacks program, and receiving recommended reading status from authoritative review sources, such as Kirkus Reviews, the Midwest Book Review, and CM Magazine.

What should readers look forward to with the relaunch of Leap? “We already have a backlist of strong stories thanks to the foundation Laurie Edwards built for Leap Books, but it seems like people have overlooked many of them while swimming in the sea of current YA and MG novels. We’re going to changing that and building on the existing list with our upcoming SHINE list of edgy YA and NA e-novellas and a re-branding and re-launching of both our YA novel line SURGE and our middle grade novel line.”

What should authors look forward to with Leap Books? “Although Leap’s SURGE line usually only accepts agented submissions, in mid-October we’ll be opening our doors wide. If you have a well-polished YA or MG novel that grabs us and holds us, we may have a spot in our lineup for you. Watch the Leap Books blog–no, stalk the blog–to find out when to submit. And watch for special anthologies to submit to–we have some great ones coming up!”

For now Delany suggests readers and writers alike leap into the contest running until August 8th at http://leapbks.blogspot.ca/ and if you’re serious about writing for a publisher, first give a few of their books a read.

You can find Leap Books at:
http://leapbks.net/
http://www.Twitter.com/Leapbks
http://www.FaceBook.com/people/LeapBooks-Owner/

leap books
Divider

Saturday, October 19, 2013

About Me/Review Policy

Posted by Irish in 1 Comment

Suzanne Collins and I in 2010

Hello and welcome to my little corner of the interwebs! Thank you for stopping by and for taking the time to get to know me and my blog. If you would like to contact me about a potential review opportunity I can be reached via email at: Irisheyz_5 AT yahoo DOT com.

About Me

My name is Gail although many people know me as Irish based on my preferred screen name of Irisheyz77. I started Ticket to Anywhere in June 2007 as a way for me to express my thoughts on the books I’ve read. Blogging has been an invaluable tool in helping me to better remember not just what I’ve read but what I thought about a particular book after reading it. I was blogging quietly for about a year before really starting to become active in the book blogging community and its a choice that I am so glad that I made as I’ve come across so many wonderful blogs and have met so many amazing people who share my interests. When not blogging I work as a Quality Assurance Specialist in the biotechnology/medical device industry. I currently live in Central Massachusetts. I read, shop, watch tv, craft, hang out with friends and do all the normal things that people do.

My Book Blogging Resume:

  • Operator of Ticket to Anywhere since June 2007
  • Book Blogger Conference Attendee for 2010, 2011, and 2012
  • Book Expo America Attendee for 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 (Power Reader Day), and 2014
  • American Library Association Midwinter Conference Attendee 2010
  • American Library Association Annual Conference Attendee 2013
  • NEIBA Fall Conference Attendee 2010, 2012 and 2013
  • Amazon Vine Participant
  • Over 2100 Twitter followers
  • Purchased my blog’s URL in July 2010, previously http://tickettoanywhere.blogspot.com

Where can I be found on the Interwebs?

I can be found on LibraryThing, Goodreads, and Twitter. Please feel free to look me up there I would love to hear from you!

Stats:

As of October 2012, I have a Google Page rank of 4 and a Global Alexa rating of 2,353,877. For the most up-to-date follower count and page view stats please email me.

Book Subjects of Interest:

I am an eclectic reader but I do seem to go through phases of preferring certain types of books over others. The genres that I read the most are (in no particular order):

  • Young Adult/New Adult/Adult – contemporary, historical, paranormal, (witches, magic, etc)
  • Fantasty – Pretty much anything goes here though I am not really into books about werewolves.
  • Fairy Tale Retellings
  • Middle Grade – I don’t read a lot of middle grade but see above for genres that would be of interest for this age group.
  • Science-Fiction / Dystopian – I enjoy a good futuristic or science based book.
  • Romance – Historical and Contemporary
  • Non-Fiction – Preference goes to books that deal with 1940s/WWII, Middle Ages, the 1920’s, astronomy/space age or science based books
  • Biographies/Memoirs – Political leaders, famous literary people, astronauts/space age pioneers, et al.
  • Mystery – I love a good mystery especially those that are forensic/science based. Nothing too gory/scary please.
  • Historical – love books that take place in the middle ages, Renaissance, 1940s/war years, 1920s, et al.
  • Graphic Novels/Manga
  • Dual Time Period/Time Travel/Parallel Worlds
  • Self Published/Indie – Opening up to limited submissions based on the categories mentioned above.

Please note that this list is a work in progress while you might not see your book category specifically listed above if you think that your book might be similar than feel free to pitch it and I will consider.

Series:

I prefer to read a series in order. If when pitching a book in the middle of a series if you could also provide the books that came before I would appreciate it. If not then please allow time for me to obtain the books and read them. Although I will most likely turn down a pitch if the book is far into the series.

Book Subjects That I am **NOT** Reading at this Time:

  • Self-Help – I’ve tried to read this genre several times and its just not for me
  • Picture Books – I don’t have any small children so can’t really give an accurate review. Any picture books received will be donated to my local library or my niece (currently age 5)
  • Horror – accepting on a limited, case by case basis as I am a wuss
  • Business/Marketing books
  • Cook Books
  • Sports (with the exception of sport themed romances)
  • Novels in verse
  • Cancer themed books
  • Werewolves
  • Love Triangles
  • Vampires

Formats Accepted:

  • Finished review copies
  • ARCs/galleys
  • ebooks – epub, pdf or or mobi
  • Audio – CD or iPod compatible, no MP3s please

Pitches:

When sending me a review inquiry please include, at minimum, the following:

  • Description of book in the body of the email and not as a link to an external site
  • Book Cover
  • Your expectations of when you would like a review posted

I am not usually swayed by blurbs or quotes from reviews in a pitch so while you can include them know that I usually just skim over those sections. If I do not respond to your pitch then I may be too busy to get to your book or just not interested. If the first book you pitch isn’t of interest please don’t hesitate to send me pitches for different books or send me your catalog so that I can chose for myself the books that interest me most. Please do not spam me with requests for the same book.

Unsolicited Books:

Unsolicited books are welcome as long as you feel that they will fit with my blog content (see above for genres accepted.) However due to the number of commitments I currently have I can’t promise that all unsolicited books will be read. If I can’t read a book in a timely manner then I may pass it on to another person for review.

Timeline:

Typically I need two to three months notice when accepting a book for review, longer if the book is non-fiction. I can be a moody reader and don’t like to force myself to read a book in a short amount of time. Therefore I like to have plenty of time to read the book and be able to give it a fair and honest review. Reading is my hobby and my escape from the real world and I don’t ever want it to feel like work. As with all rules though there are exceptions. Just let me know in advance when you would like to see a review posted and I will do my best to comply but I do not make any guarantees.

Blog Tours/Interviews/Guest Posts/Giveaways:

Yes please! I am interested in all of the above.

  • Blog Tours – please give me at minimum one month from receiving the book to review. Preferably two.
  • Interviews – I love to host both author and character interviews on my blog. I do prefer to read the book prior to asking questions. So please allow time for me to receive and read the book. I will post the interview around the same time as my review but on a separate day.
  • Guest Posts – These can be about anything that the author prefers. I will post around the same time as my review but on a separate day.
  • Giveaways – I love to host giveaways on my blog so if you are willing to donate a book for this purpose then please let me know.

Reviews:

I try to wright my reviews in what I hope is a fair and honest manner. I can not guarantee any book a positive review but when I don’t like a book I will say why this particular book doesn’t work for me. Books that I don’t finish will generally not be mentioned on my blog unless I have read at least half of the book. I also like to try and post a review on or around a books release date whenever possible but I can not promise this will happen.

My review format generally includes: basic book information (i.e. ISBN, Release date, publisher and format I read the book in), Links to where the author can be found on line (website, blog, twitter), the location/time period of where the book was set, and my rating.

My reviews are my honest thoughts on a book at the time that I read it. They are not influenced by how I received the book or how well I might know the author or publicist. All reviews are based on the book itself and in know way reflect my opinion of the author or publisher. Even though I accept a book for review it doesn’t mean that I will review the book on my blog. If I can not get into a book then I will put it aside until such time when I can. If I do not finish a book or if I find a book is not for me then I will try to find another blogger to review the book in my place

Rating System:

I rate books on a 5 star system including 1/2 stars basically this means the following:

  • 5 stars – loved loved loved it! I will become a book bully for this book
  • 4 stars – liked it didn’t love it but will recommend
  • 3 stars – varies – but more of a middle of the road reacting. didn’t love it or hate it. May not recommend to others
  • 2 stars – didn’t like it, won’t recommend it
  • 1 star – hated it
  • DNF – Did not Finish (these may not always be mentioned on the blog)

Where else do I post reviews?

I will often post reviews on Amazon, GoodReads, and LibraryThing. I have also been known to post reviews on Powells and Barnes and Noble as well. My blogfeed is also imported to Twitter and Facebook. If you would like my review posted in any other locations then please don’t hesitate to ask.

Affiliate Programs

I am a member of the affiliate programs with Amazon, Indiebound, and Wellesley Booksmith. When you click on a link in a blog post and it brings you to that site and if you make a purchase then I will receive a small portion of the proceeds if you purchase that item. Any money earned form these programs will go to supporting this blog.

What Happens to a Book when I am Done with It?

I keep many of the books that I read. Unfortunately, I can’t keep every book. Final review copies may be donated to my local library or given to another person to read/review. I do not sell any ARCs/galleys but they may be given to other bloggers or librarians. If I do not have the time to read an ARC/galley then I will try my best to find another person to read/review the book in my place. This may be done through a contest held on my blog or through a private transaction.

Copyright:

All content (text and pictures but not including book covers, official author photos or tv/movie stills, gifs) is my own and belong to me unless otherwise noted, and I hold the copyright on this information. If you would like to post my reviews on another site, please contact me first. At the very minimum you must link back to my blog as the source of the information that you are quoting from me.

Publishers/Authors: You are welcome to short quotations to use on your blog, website, book jacket or other promotional material. I would ask that when you do to please credit my blog as Ticket to Anywhere and my name (Gail or Irish) as well as link back to my review when possible.

irishdarkblue
Divider